Nour Zakaria, 24
Human resources supervisor
I am here to support the legitimacy of President Morsi, because if we do not support him the country will descend into chaos. I want to prove to the world that we are not barbarians, that we believe in democracy and in a democracy you don’t do things this way.
This was a well-planned conspiracy, made with the help of the former regime, the military and a corrupt Egyptian media. If Morsi is forced to leave the palace, we will remain here and the cycle of street protests will become a permanent fixture in Egyptian life. I was never with Hosni Mubarak, but I did not participate in the last protests.
This time I slipped away from home. Nobody saw me leave. This is a matter of principle.
Lama Omar, 26
Human resources supervisor
The Muslim Brotherhood is not a democracy at all. All its actions were very, very bad. He was never going to leave his office. Morsi had already destroyed much of the country in one year and what would have happened, God only knows.
I was not with the first protest until Omar Suleiman [the former intelligence chief] made the announcement that Mubarak was gone. But this one I have been with from the bottom of my heart.
I am very, very optimistic. I am very proud of my nation and for all of us. My home is near Tahrir Square, and I heard the noise of the celebrations last night. It was a thrilling night for everyone. Something I will always remember.
Asmaa Fathi, 30, and her daughters Dima, 11, Imam seven, and son, Abdullah, three
We came here to celebrate with all Egyptians. I was not enthused to vote last time, not for Morsi or for anybody else. This time it is different. So long as we have strong armed forces, the country will be strong and we will be strong.
Morsi made the days of Mubarak look much better … all I care about now is for my children to live well. I want a good education for them. I want them to have good lives. The security in Egypt gives us peace of mind. Ramadan starts soon and we will be coming home after dawn prayers. We can do so in comfort and safety now.
Mohammed Hani, 22
Everybody’s reaction here in Rabaa – the whole square – was one of complete shock. It was totally unexpected. No one saw it coming. This was a coup against the legitimate office of the presidency. They have crossed a red line.
The army is a patriotic institution and would never do such a thing. Only one person was responsible for what happened: Abdel Fatah al-Sisi [the chief of the army].
What happened is proof to us that we were on the right path and that we had given everybody their full rights. The media had been very open, and the press was criticised the whole time. He [Morsi] had never closed down media outlets, like what happened under military orders on Wednesday night. We were applying democracy correctly.
We will stay on the streets till all our demands are met. We will not budge.
Osama Yousef, 45
This revolution was stronger than the first because it was a fight for Egyptian identity. We have said to the world who Egyptians are and what we stand for.
I want to give a message to Obama. I want him to understand that the way he addresses us needs to change. His talk of cutting aid [because of the coup] upsets me. Nothing comes from the US for free. This is aid in kind, and the price we pay is the peace treaty with Israel.
We are not weak: we can make our own weapons instead of getting them from America.
Carmen Bedawi, 28
I don’t think the  elections were fairly held. The Brotherhood used to distribute oil and sugar to the poor people – they bought their loyalty that way. In Egypt there are a lot of poor people, maybe 60 to 70% of the population. He used ignorance and religion to fool them.
The cabinet that was formed was all Muslim Brotherhood and his clan. He wasn’t going anywhere. The people have revolted. They have learned in the past two years. They did not know how politics works. Now they do. And they are united.
Alaa Hassan, 28
Air conditioning technician
We came here not for Mohamed Morsi as a person. We came to respect democracy. We are here to respect the people’s will. We chose him [Morsi] as a president in a referendum and validated him through a referendum. Our choice has to be respected. The rules of democracy have to be respected. If they are just tossed away on a whim, there will be major problems.
We will never leave this place until the legitimate rights of those who elected Morsi are respected and recognised. What has happened sends a very bad message to everyone. It is a bitter taste.
Nancy Riyadh, 26, and her mother Yvonne Hanna, 54
This is the first time we have ever hit the streets. I have never seen people as happy as they were last night and as peaceful as they were. There was so much love between everybody. It was more than we ever saw in Mubarak’s time. There are some groups that gave a lot of themselves to push Morsi out, which was not the case during Mubarak’s time. It was like a burden that had to be moved. And we are so happy he has gone.
At the time he took office, I cried so hard, because I did not believe that Morsi could become president. I could not believe that the Muslim Brotherhood could control the country. We wanted to leave Egypt – we wanted to go to Canada for six months. We feel like we were victorious over an enemy. Egypt will now be the best country in the world.
Abdul Muneim Ahmad, 35
I was extremely angry when I heard the news. This was a betrayal of electoral legitimacy and of democracy. It is without precedent anywhere. This was a planned coup, orchestrated by Ahmed Shafiq [the presidential candidate whom Morsi defeated] and the army for a long time.
It was a conspiracy against democracy. It can’t be the case that when democracy brings something that people don’t want it can be discarded like this. I respect the ballot box. We are ready for anything now. All options are open, including death. But we will not use weapons.”
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